A-League: Victory confident of beating the Phoenix

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Melbourne Victory will “embrace” a hostile Wellington atmosphere in playing the role of “villains” at Sky Stadium on Saturday.

The A-League semi-final is deadlocked at 0-0 heading into this weekend’s second-leg, with the Phoenix to start as favourites at their home ground in front of an expected crowd of more than 30,000.

The Victory are yet to beat the Phoenix in four attempts this season, but they are welcoming the challenge that awaits them.

“We’ve had plenty of games here (in Melbourne) with big crowds,” Victory defender Jason Geria said.

“If they want to rely on that (the crowd) in getting them over the line, that’s fine.

“For us, it’s something that we’re going to thrive off, and enjoy that atmosphere, enjoy that hostility, enjoy trying to spoil that party, and we’re going to embrace it.

“If we’re seen as villains, that’s fine, from the outside or their side.

“They deserve to have this game, the second-leg, in their stadium … but we’re not really worried about the storyline.

“It’s good to the villains sometimes. A lot of the A-League already has a level of disdain for us.”

Geria called on Victory fans to make the trans-Tasman flight for the match.

“I do hope it’s a sell-out (crowd). It’d be really good for the game and for Wellington I hope a lot of our fans travel over as well to bring some support for us,” the 31-year-old right fullback said.

“It’s just going to be a great occasion and the more fans that come to the game, the better.

“It’s not going to be a problem for us.”

Geria said the key to beating the Phoenix, and securing a spot in the following weekend’s grand final, was remaining “patient” and disciplined in attempting to break down Wellington’s rock solid defence.

“They defend in a tight, low block, have a lot of bodies in the box – it’s hard to break down,” he said.

“That’s something that we need to figure out. The important thing against Wellington is keeping your discipline, saying focused, and not getting too frustrated because it’s going to take time to break them down.

“We’re going to have to be patient, and believe in what we’re going to do. Eventually an opportunity will come, it’s just about taking that opportunity.

“We have the players that are up for it. We have the quality in the squad and we’re going to show up on the day.

“I’m very confident going over there.”

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